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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Friday, May 25, 2018

Time Machine co-ordinates VILIII48852566

So today is May 25th, 1966, and I welcome in Mr. Edgar M Cortright from NASA history:

One of the great days in the history of the Cape was May 25, 1966, when Apollo-Saturn 500-F-a test vehicle built by Marshall Space Flight Center that duplicated everything except engines and spacecraft, of which it had none - rolled out of the VAB on the crawler and moved at glacial speed to Pad A, gleaming in the brilliant sunshine. It was the biggest rocket ever built by man, dummy though it was, and up there, safely on the pad, Saturn V was something to behold. It was five years to the day since President Kennedy had proposed landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth. When the crawler put the launcher on its supports that afternoon, one of the men who (along with me) breathed easier was Don Buchanan, on whose able shoulders the design responsibility for both the crawler and launcher had been placed three years before. 

And a big thank you to the NASA history site for all that!  After buzzing the launchpad, we'll settle down for some fun, with Peter Noone (at least I hope), two of my favorite ladies debuting this week on the M10, a classic dismantling of that wonderfully cringeworthy show Glee!, and whatever other trouble we can get into!  3...2...1...


And we are going right to our first debut- a song whose proceeds will be directed to the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention- a cause Phantogram has espoused since singer Sarah Barthel's sister committed suicide.  They had already received the organization's Public Awareness Award, and at that gala released a two sided single- and here's the side I fell in love with (Not actually a pun over the fact that their other time in the M10 was the #1 Fall In Love) #10 this week.


Welcome in Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits!  Nice to see you Peter, how ya doing?

Very well.  Yourself?

Just fine.  I notice that you don't have the level of accent I was expecting...

Well, we "upped the gain" on my accent for you Yanks.  You want me to, I can manage a bit...

No, that's okay, this makes it easier for me to write your part understand you.  So are you familiar with the concept here?

Yes, sir, I read off the list, make funny banter, try to slip in an Elvis joke, and then you lot vote which one had the most #1s.

Well, maybe you can leave out the Elvis part.  So 22 contestants from 91 stations, and four of them took in 70.3% of the vote!  Here's your list...

All right, then, let's have a look... First vote goes to a song called All These Things by the Uniques, a band from Louisiana... it says here that they were led by future Country and Western star Joe Stampley, who re-released it and hit the tops of that chart.  This version, goodness, was all the way down at #110 on the Yank Cashbox chart this week.

Then we have, er, Cool Jerk by the Capitols, at #20.

The Loving Spoonful were at #8 with Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind.  We should have taken a hand at that one...

Well, here's an unusual title, mainly because it's in Boer... or as you might say, Afrikaans.  It is from a South African folk act called Des and Dawn Lindberg, and it is called Die Gezoem Van Die Bye,  which translates into "The Buzz Of The Bee", but you Yanks know it better as Big Rock Candy Mountain."  It was a big hit there, and the couple are South African hall of famers and still perform quite regularly.

The Rascals are at #11 with Good Lovin'.

Then comes The Mindbenders- noted, "this time without Wayne Fontana"- and Groovy Kind Of Love.  It was at... ah, #3.

Tommy James and the Shondells debut at #91 with Hanky Panky.  Oh, my, sounds a bit naughty!

Hey, how did we suddenly go backwards?

Because I alphabetized on song by act instead of title.  Sorry.

I see.  So then, here should have been- and is- The Leaves with Hey Joe at #88.

An Australian act called Bobbie and Laurie  get a vote for a tune called Hitchhiker.  Is that your bird?

Hm, oh, no.  That Laurie is a guy.

Ah.  Next come Sam and Dave... no last names either... with Hold On, I'm Coming, at #17.

And we're back in order again!  Next we have surf-rock instrumentalists the Clee-Shays- apparently they did well in Japan, but not here- with the Theme From The Man From UNCLE.  Is that a movie?

TV show- spy drama.

Oh, rather like the Avengers, then.  Then come the Mama's and the Papas, with a song that is on the charts in both our countries!  Monday Monday was a bit higher here this week, placing at #2 to our #17- BUT, we also had them at #26 with California Dreamin'.

And the next on on both sides of the pond is the Rolling Stones with Paint It, Black.  It was at #4 here, and number five in England.  BUT, it WAS their FIRST week on the chart back home.

Now, here's one we had and you didn't!  Crispian St Peter's Pied Piper, which had a few weeks before its American debut in late June, but we had at #8.

And now, another one we both had in the top ten... but I don't seem to know it by title... Bob Dylan's Rainy Day Women #s 12 and 35...

"...everybody must get stoned..."

Oh.  OH.  All right.  It was #10 back home and #7 here.

Another one we were a bit late at, understandably, was the Beach Boys and Sloop John B.  We had it at #2... you lot had already had it near the top and it had fallen to #26.

Frank Sinatra managed to get into the count with Strangers In The Night... we had him at #12 this week, you at #19.

Another one with a bit of an early start... Bobby Hebb and Sunny.  Two weeks out from its national debut.

My, but a lot of songs getting the jump on your Cashbox lot this week.  Tommy Roe gets a vote for debuting at #97 with Sweet Pea.

And finally, Percy Sledge with When A Man Loves A Woman, at #1.  And that's does it!

All right, thanks, Peter!  So like I said, there were 4 songs that took in most of the vote- BUT that doesn't mean it was close between them.  Choose from Groovy Kind Of Love, Monday Monday, When A Man Loves A Woman, and Paint It, Black.  Yes, #s 1,2,3, and 4.


One show I made it a point to avoid ( one of many) was Glee!, that wonderful Fox program about a high school glee club.  Among the many things I didn't care for during its heyday was ALL the singles they released.  From May 19th 2009 to January 1st of 2013- a 189 week stretch- they charted 207 singles on Billboard- about one every six days for 3 years, 7 1/2 months.  They broke all kinds of records by the Beatles and Elvis- but wait a minute.  Even if you excise the dozens of songs they released that never charted here, the average stay on the chart was 1.25 weeks per song.  That's right, the longest stay on the chart for any one song was their first- the highly overplayed Don't Stop Believing, which passed the Journey original- charting at #4 to their #9- though Journey lasted over twice as long (16 weeks) and outsold them by a factor of SEVEN.

Being a highly offended Beatles fan, I wanted to rub their ephemeral success in their faces a bit, so I calculated how many weeks Glee racked up with their 207 singles to hit the American chart ( a few more in the UK, believe it or not...), and the answer was, 260 weeks.  The top third of the Beatles charting singles tops that.  In fact, it took Glee's first four highest weeks-on-charts songs to pass Hey Jude alone!  The Beatles collected 609 weeks on the US charts (2 1/3 times as many as Glee) on 63 singles ( less than a third as many)!

And, I might add, Don't Stop Believin' was the only legitimately released song from anywhere approaching the Martin Era that Glee beat- the closest outside of it was their take on the Stones' You Can't Always Get What Yo Want (a b-side that hit #42, while Glee made #71.)  And out of their mighty list of chart hits, their Martin Era covers missed completely 8 times, squeezed in between #100 to #50 22 times, and cracked the top 50 just 10 times.

And what brought this all up?  Well, on top of all the songs you never wanted to hear them kill, on top of some truly head-scratching medleys (Don't Stand So Close To Me / Young Girl- yes, the Police and Gary Puckett, or Start Me Up/Living On A Prayer), how about the MOST unexpected song I found on the list was our 6D victim- James Brown's It's A Man's Man's Man's World at #5- with which Glee spent a week at #95.


This week was a fairly easy one to work out for the M10.  Our debut at #9 will make next week's chart a major disaster to come up with.  Fourth time on the chart this year for Shilpa ray...


Stat Pack:

38 I knew this week...

Louis Armstrong had yet another Musical soundtrack hit for our #66 in '66 with Mame.  Curiously, Bobby Darrin's version was just three spots below him at #69.  Herb Alpert would also have a go, but wouldn't start until November.  He'd hit 17 CB on Christmas week, while Satchmo and Bobby stopped at #60 and 63 respectively.  Billboard, just to be difficult, had them finish at 81, 53, and 19.

Tammi Terrell had the #101 with Come On And See Me, one of 4 songs she charted without Marvin Gaye.  None of them cracked Billboard's top 60.

Because it never hurts to have another pretty face for the Beauty Contest...
The big mover were the Temptations with Ain't Too Proud To Beg, which covered the 31 notches from 86 to 55 in a single bound.

And the British top dog was Manfred Mann's Pretty Flamingo, which peaked at #29 here.


The remainder of the M10:

illuminatti hotties go their separate ways this week; Paying Off The Happiness tumbles from 3 to 8.

Flipping the 6 and 7 spots were Cullen Omori's Four Years and the Knocks' Ride Or Die, with Four Years taking over at #6. 

Family Of The Year slams up 3 to #5 with Let Her Go. 

Gilbert O'Sullivan sneaks his 72 year-old butt up to #4 with Where Did You Go To.

The hotties' other hit, Shape Of My Hands, moves up a spot to #3.

Eleanor Friedberger is still at #2 with Make Me A Song.

Which means a second week at the top for

...Caroline Rose and Jeannie Becomes A Mom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the Panel pick?  Well, the Mindbenders woulda got you 12.1 %...

The Mamas and Papas nets you 15.4 %...

The Stones would have raked you in 16.5 %...

But if you wanted the winner, and their 26.4 % stake, you needed...

...TA-DA, Percy Sledge and When A Man Loves A Woman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's it for this trip!  Stay gleeful, and we'll meet again, Lord willing, in my kindergarten year of 1967!


  1. Chris:
    ---You got to admit that when it comes to engineering marvels, we're right at the top of the heap!
    (nice NASA intro)
    ---Phantogram - good Golden Monkey beer-sippin' music!
    ---Geez, you're NOT making the top pick ANY easier...are 'ya? SO many great songs!
    BTW, the Man from U.N.C.L.E. theme was originally written by the late (and great) Jerry Goldsmith...BEST version ever!
    ---Also, I DO remember Crispian St Peter's Pied Piper (hadda play it again for old times' sake).
    ---I think I got my picks for the finalists...(crosses fingers)
    ---Our high school had a glee club, but I was busy singing at churches in our CHOIR...(sue
    Got a school LETTER in it, too!
    ---Sorry, but JOURNEY is the ONLY group that can give DON'T STOP BELIEVING any REAL justice.
    Now, if "GLEE!" did original songs, I could run with that, but COVERS?
    SO many have done SO many of everyone.
    ---Shilpa Ray - sounds like another M10 #1 in the making. Very haunting.
    ---Tammi Terrell - another one gone TOO soon.
    ---The M10 didn't shift around THAT much...nice to see the ladies near the top.
    ---PERCY just HAD to be!
    Who ELSE can sell that song, hmm?
    (Answer - NO ONE!)

    Another great ride this week (thank Peter for me...very enjoyable).
    Keep those hit comin' up there, brother.

    1. Agree with you on Percy- anyone else just sounds like screaming. Also on your debut analysis- even if Shilpa's "video" was an old vacation kodak moment...